Tonight at midnight in my time zone the Guild Wars 2 headstart will kick off, with probably millions of players taking part over the next few weeks. I’ve been jokingly calling it the “Guild Wars 2 Rapture” in RIFT guild chat. This is the first time I’ve been sticking with the “little guys” during a hype-ful launch, whereas in the past I’ve either been engrossed in WoW during its behemoth days or trying out the new property. It’s required a bit of planning and mental preparation.
It might be obvious from previous posts that I haven’t bought the game. That being said, I hate not being part of a big event like a major game launch — being one of the gang and going where the excitement goes is my nature. Also, I have a lot of cool guildies who I haven’t played with in a while who said they’d be back in GW2, and I’m really bummed that I’ll be missing out on their company.
So while I’m not playing, I’m a little melancholy today about it. Fortunately, we’ve been planning for the GW2 Rapture in the RIFT guild for a while now, using the following survival tips:
Recruit! The survival guide for ANY guild should have recruitment as number one, but even more so now. There are plenty of people who aren’t playing Guild Wars 2 out there! It’s unfortunate to think about, but some guilds will probably move entirely to the new game or just die off as people play something else, so there will probably be a steady stream over the next few weeks of folks who need a good home.
Manage expectations! We run 10-man raids one night a week in RIFT. Ideally we’ll be able to continue that, but I know I’ve definitely been making an effort to let people know that GW2 might play havok with our schedule for a bit. (And, from the other side, that we understand if they’re a little obsessed with Tyria for the next while. There’s no need to make people feel bad about video games.) We have backup plans in place to try challenging 5-man content (master modes!) if attendance is light.
Patience! GW2 is probably better for the “little guys” than previous MMO launches because of the lack of subscription, and I know many of my guildies intend to play PvE in RIFT and PvP in GW2. That being said I suspect that even those folks will be distracted totally by their shiny new game for at least a couple of weeks, before mellowing out into a more sustainable rate of play.
To folks who are joining in the headstart or playing Guild Wars 2 at launch on Tuesday, although I’ve written some pretty cranky things here about your game I do hope y’all have a great time playing it.
To my fellow Left Behind-ers in the Guild Wars 2 Rapture.. rock out with your different game taste! Play what you love, and try to not sweat other people playing what they love. In the past I’ve talked a good game about how diversity in the market is good and people can play more than one MMO at once, and looks like it’s time for me to back up those zen words with a calm attitude and flexible plans.